A small team of hunters captured a massive 15-foot-long python in the Florida Everglades, and told Fox News they got a cash reward of more than $600 and just a few snake bites to show for it.
WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTO BELOW
Hunters Leonardo Sanchez and Nicholas Banos are part of the Everglades’ Python Challenge, a pilot program that aims to help get rid of snakes that have been destroying public land.
When the two wranglers were headed back down a narrow, 18-mile road after an attempt at hunting with a friend, Sanchez saw half of the body of the giant snake leading down the steep levee.
“I didn’t have time to look for the head,” Sanchez said. “It was buried by brush so I grabbed it by the tail.”
The snake took off, weaving through the trees in hopes of escaping while Sanchez still held on. Banos tried to grab the head of the snake which in turn snapped back right into his face.
“I jumped chest-first on the snake,” Sanchez said casually. “I managed to grab the head and lay on it while it was all zig-zagged through the trees.”
This whopping Burmese python weighed 144 pounds, only six pounds less than Sanchez himself, as he kept the “pure muscle” predator pinned.
“People think that snakes like that move slowly and sluggish,” he said. “But they don’t. They run.”
Banos said he wanted to shoot the snake on-site so there would be less of a threat, but for Sanchez, that would mean defeat.
“If we shoot this snake right here, that means she won,” he explained. “Eventually we were able to pull it out, and it gave us a fight.”
Bigger snakes supposedly get tired quicker, but for these wranglers, that was not the case.
This was the biggest snake Banos and Sanchez have caught before, their previous record being a 14.5-foot python. Sanchez says he wants to capture a world-record-breaking python that will give him “the rush” he’s looking for.
“I don’t want to tie the record, I want to beat it.”